An Airbus A320 operated by Saudi Arabian carrier Flyadeal suffered damage to its radome after a collision with a catering truck. The incident happened at Riyadh International Airport and involved one of Flyadeal’s new A320neos.
Flyadeal A320neo clashes with catering vehicle
On May 19th, one of Flyadeal’s A320neo aircraft was involved in a ground incident with a food catering truck at Riyadh International Airport. While the details are still scarce, the two vehicles collided, causing extensive damage to the Airbus A320neo’s radome.
The aircraft (registration: HZ-FAP) has remained grounded since the incident occurred on the morning of May 19th. There were no reports of any injuries from this collision, although the damage to the aircraft’s radome appears extensive.
Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that HZ-FAP conducted a 90-minute flight from Tabuk to Riyadh, landing in the country’s capital at 10:20 local time.
Flyadeal has yet to issue a statement on the incident or provide further details on the extent of the damage. However, judging from the pictures, it could take a while for the affected aircraft to enter service again.
The area of damage, known as the radome, contains critical flight instruments, such as the dish antenna and localizer. Even slight damage to this highly-sensitive section can impact flight safety.
Due to the exposed position of the radome, this area is often the main casualty of collisions with ground vehicles. Wizz Air, another operator of the Airbus A320neo, saw two of its jets struck by a ground vehicle in Gdańsk, Poland, last year.
Airbus A320neo (HZ-FAP)
The affected aircraft is one of Flyadeal’s new Airbus A320neo jets. HZ-FAP was delivered to the airline in December 2021 and named “Al-Hala.”
The aircraft has primarily been active on Flyadeal’s domestic network, although it has made the odd excursion to nearby Dubai. The A320neo sits 186 passengers in an all-economy configuration.
Flyadeal currently has 11 Airbus A320neo jets in its fleet after taking delivery of its first A320neo in July 2021. The airline will eventually welcome 30 A320neos into the fleet by 2024.
The Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier, a subsidiary of Saudia, is approaching five years old after being established in September 2017. It mainly serves domestic destinations around Saudi Arabia but has plans to expand its international network over the next few years.